Engineering Plastics Polyacetal - POM

Polyacetal, commonly known as polyoxymethylene (POM), is a versatile engineering plastic known for its excellent mechanical properties, dimensional stability, and chemical resistance. Here’s an overview:

  1. Chemical Composition: Polyacetal is a thermoplastic polymer consisting of repeating units of acetaldehyde. It is synthesized through polymerization of formaldehyde under controlled conditions to produce a high-performance engineering plastic.

  2. Properties:

    • High Mechanical Strength: Polyacetal exhibits high tensile strength, stiffness, and toughness, making it suitable for applications requiring load-bearing components.
    • Dimensional Stability: Polyacetal has excellent dimensional stability, retaining its shape and size even under varying temperature and humidity conditions.
    • Low Friction: Polyacetal has a low coefficient of friction, providing smooth and wear-resistant surfaces, which reduces the need for lubrication in moving parts.
    • High Wear Resistance: Polyacetal offers excellent wear resistance, making it suitable for applications involving sliding and rubbing contact, such as gears, bearings, and conveyor systems.
    • Chemical Resistance: Polyacetal is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, including solvents, fuels, oils, and many acids and bases. However, it is susceptible to attack by strong acids and oxidizing agents.
    • Low Water Absorption: Polyacetal has low water absorption, which helps maintain its mechanical properties and dimensional stability in humid environments.
    • Good Electrical Insulation: Polyacetal is an excellent electrical insulator, making it suitable for electrical and electronic applications.
    • Food Contact Approval: Polyacetal grades approved for food contact applications are available, making it suitable for use in food processing equipment and packaging.
  3. Applications:

    • Automotive: Polyacetal is widely used in automotive applications such as gears, bearings, bushings, fuel system components, and interior trim parts due to its mechanical strength, wear resistance, and dimensional stability.
    • Consumer Goods: Polyacetal is used in various consumer goods such as zippers, buckles, fasteners, and handles due to its durability, low friction, and aesthetic appeal.
    • Industrial Machinery: Polyacetal is used in industrial machinery and equipment for components such as gears, rollers, guides, and conveyor systems due to its mechanical properties and wear resistance.
    • Electrical and Electronics: Polyacetal is used in electrical and electronic applications for insulating components such as connectors, switches, sockets, and housings due to its electrical insulation properties and dimensional stability.
    • Medical Devices: Polyacetal is used in medical devices and equipment for components such as valve parts, handles, and connectors due to its biocompatibility, chemical resistance, and sterilizability.
    • Packaging: Polyacetal is used in packaging machinery for components such as grippers, slides, and guides due to its low friction, wear resistance, and dimensional stability.
  4. Processing: Polyacetal can be processed using various methods including injection molding, extrusion, machining, and thermoforming. It can be easily machined to tight tolerances and fabricated into complex shapes to meet specific design requirements.

Overall, polyacetal is a widely used engineering plastic with excellent mechanical properties, dimensional stability, and chemical resistance, making it suitable for a wide range of applications across industries. Its versatility and reliability make it a preferred choice for demanding and critical applications where other materials may not perform as well.

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